These are my semi-obligatory words about 9/11 some ten years after the fact. There will be millions, maybe billions of words written about the events of September 11, 2001. Stack them on top of each other and they would reach higher than the fallen Twin Towers.
My 9/11 story is this. The night before we had seen Sade in concert. She would not tour again until ten years later. She was even better than the last time and that’s about it for what’s better now than it was then.
I was washing dishes and listening to Howard Stern. Someone called in and said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. They thought it might have been a small plane like a Cessna. One of Howard’s crew remarked, “that’s a lot of smoke coming out of there.”
I turned on the Today Show. Saw the second plane hit. Wondered where my wife was. She was out on an errand and none of us owned a cell phone. I watched one tower fall and then the other. My kids were at school and at noon it was announced they would be released early.
I went to pick them up. They had been watching the events on television too. My wife finally came home. We watched television until late at night when we finally couldn’t watch anymore.
What more was there to see?
We felt sickened, sad and scared all at once. My daughter had recently turned seven. Before my daughter would go to sleep, she asked me if the terrorists were going to kill us all. I told her they weren’t. I wasn’t sure of it, but what else could I tell her? How much crap does a seven year-old girl need on her mind?
Seven-year-old girls should go their entires lives without ever knowing what a terrorist is.
Before we went to bed, my wife cried and I cried and we turned off the lights and turned on the security alarm. It’s good to hold on to the illusion of security when none really exists.
The next day the sun rose in the morning just like it had that beautiful Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001 and just like it has everday since.
We put a flag out on our porch and it stayed there for the next two years. There were a lot of flags on a lot of porches after 9/11. Don’t seem to see as many anymore.
That probably means something.
We went back to New York City last year for the first time in 11 years. I still love New York. Only now more than ever.
That’s enough for me with the reminiscening.
I’ve seen enough angles of plans cutting into buildings like knives through butter. Seen enough horrified faces pointing up at the sky. Seen enough victims jump to their deaths, towers collapsing and presidents reading “My Pet Goat” while the world goes mad.
Do I really need to see it again? Do anyone need another, “Where Were You When the Towers Fell?” recollection.. I was home and I watched it all day. I saw it all unfold in real time.
I don’t need to remember, I never forgot.